Woosters and Shakers
Bebe Miller is to perform Early Shaker Spirituals in Tokyo, Japan December 22-23rd as part of Sound Live Tokyo. She has been performing in the production since 2014, including performances in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Antwerp, and Brooklyn.
In Early Shaker Spirituals, The Wooster Group channels the 1976 LP of the same name recorded by the Sisters of the Shaker Community in Sabbathday Lake, Maine, giving a new live rendering to their songs and finding inspiration for a series of dances. Cynthia Hedstrom, Elizabeth LeCompte, Frances McDormand and Suzzy Roche sing the songs. In the dances, the singers are joined by Matthew Brown, Modesto Jimenez, Bobby McElver, Bebe Miller and Andrew Schneider.
EARLY SHAKER SPIRITUALS returns to an artistic practice that the Group has used throughout its history: working with record albums as source material for original productions, among them HULA (1981) and L.S.D. (…JUST THE HIGH POINTS…) (1984). The piece also expresses the Group’s long-standing interest in the Shakers, a millenarian, celibate, communitarian sect. In 1980, Elizabeth LeCompte, Kate Valk and other members of the company visited the Sabbathday Lake Shaker community and met with Sister R. Mildred Barker. Around that time, the company first began listening to the record album that forms the basis for this new piece.
In addition to the performers, the full EARLY SHAKER SPIRITUALS ensemble includes Max Bernstein (sound), Eleanor Bishop (assistant to the director), Enver Chakartash (costumes), Jim Clayburgh (set), Bill Kennedy (technical director), Elizabeth LeCompte (set), Bobby McElver (sound), Erin Mullin (stage manager), Jamie Poskin (assistant director), Emily Rea (production manager), Ryan Seelig (lighting), Christine Stevenson (costumes), Jennifer Tipton (lighting) and Kate Valk (director). – Wooster Group website